The Volkswagen commercial aims to elicit chuckles, but can be best described as tawdry, R-rated and somewhat shocking for mainstream TV.
Kia’s Super Bowl commercial touting its new Niro small SUV starring comedian Melissa McCarthy is funny and memorable.
Not so funny is’s current commercial. It aims to elicit chuckles, but can be best described as tawdry, R-rated and somewhat shocking for mainstream TV, even for those who think they’ve seen everything.
Called “Luv Bug,” it features four VW nameplates with steamy windows and rocking like you know what. Steamy is a good adjective, but it certainly exceeds the boundaries of good taste and is hardly a message you want your kids to see.
The 60-second spot starts with a rocking, steamy Blue Beetle followed by a young couple now with a newborn child trading in the Beetle for a red Jetta. The Jetta is depicted the same way, and the same couple arrives at the dealership next time with two toddlers. So let’s try it again. This time the Jetta is traded for a larger Tiguan CUV. Finally VW gets to the point as the growing family now reaches three and the parents trade the Tiguan for the new Atlas CUV, which is VW’s reason for doing the commercial.
Yes, the 7-seat Atlas is family-friendly. The final shot shows the happy group and their dog merrily spinning down the highway. OK, we get it.
The spot features the late Dean Martin who, appropriately, sings “The Birds and the Bees” and some strange interlude shots of an owl (hey, it’s wise to buy a VW?) and another depicting grazing cows.
By contrast, McCarthy’s zany journey as an environmental warrior in the Kia commercial is almost as hilarious as her playing the role of an angrily perturbed White House press secretary Sean Spicer on “Saturday Night Live.”
Entitled “A Hero’s Journey,” the Super Bowl commercial features McCarthy in a series of situations: Trying to save the whales, her boat is smashed by a giant whale and she’s hurtled and slammed into a nearby freighter. Her effort to save trees fails when the tree she climbs topples over. She also perishes in a crevice attempting to save the ice cap, and finally is rear-ended and tossed into the air by the horn of a giant rhino. All trick photography, of course. In between each segment the Niro is featured in action.
If there’s any saving grace for VW, at least it doesn’t mention any models powered by diesel engines. That would be a real downer, so to speak.